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Dean & Draper helps unravel the mystery behind new healthcare reform by hosting quarterly seminars to educate employers on requirements ahead of 2014 deadlines.

The controversial new health care law package involves many working parts, new pieces of legislation and multiple phases that are being gradually rolled out with new deadlines for Texas businesses.

Love or hate Obamacare, employers in Texas must arm themselves with the knowledge and best practices to not only stay in compliance but to remain profitable and competitive as well.

Key timeline issues for 2014 include the setting up of state-based exchanges, individual and employer mandates, premium tax credits, Medicaid expansion, insurance market reforms, health insurers’ fees, and employer reporting burden to IRS and reinsurance costs.

One of the most significant changes involves the establishment of state-based exchanges. Because Gov. Rick Perry opposed the federal health care law and notified Washington, one day prior to the deadline, that Texas will not set up it's own exchange - Texas will default to its health insurance program to being set up by the federal government.

These ‘one stop shop’ exchanges will be separated into two distribution channels; the public ‘Marketplace’ and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Individuals will be able to find online plan comparisons and enrollment through the new Marketplace, which will be the only platform for receiving the individual subsidy.

The SHOP Exchange is the only place small businesses with 2 to 100 employees will be able to get their tax credit, which can be as high as 50%.

Instead of becoming redundant, insurance agents will clearly play a key role as assistors and excellent sources for guidance in navigating the new exchange system.

The federal government’s website operated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers seven tips to aid businesses in the transition and compliance:

  1. Learn more about how insurance works
  2. Learn about different types of health insurance available through the Marketplace
  3. Choose the month you’ll start coverage
  4. Set budgets
  5. Gather essential information on your business
  6. Make a list of questions
  7. Enlist the help of a health insurance agent or broker in analyzing your options

This is where Houston based Dean & Draper Insurance Agency’s employer seminars come in. Among the questions to be answered during events will be; how the government will be funding these exchanges, whether it is smarter to pay the penalty or offer health insurance for employees – Pay or Play, the effects of not offering a health plan on recruitment efforts and retaining talent in today’s marketplace, how to calculate FTE and establish variable hour employees, budgeting requirements for rate increases and of course insight on selecting the appropriate plans.

The Dean & Draper Insurance Agency has been offering Texas companies assistance with employee benefits for over 30 years and was recently named among the nation’s top 10 agencies that get it right in Best Review Magazine.

To find out more about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or to reserve seating at the next seminar visit the agency on the web at or call via the toll free hotline at 888.266.2680.  For additional questions please contact us at